For me travelling is not about seeing as many places as possible in a certain amount of time. I discovered about myself that I much more love to actually stay in one place for a longer period of time in order to get to know the people, the culture and the language. So, when I decided to go to Peru I was looking for opportunities to volunteer and so I stumbled upon Threads of Peru, an NGO that connects the world to the textile treasures of the indigenous communities of the Andes.
It seemed a perfect match as the whole plan quickly turned into reality and now that I am finally here I can say that it was totally worth it coming here.
On my first day I got to know the community of UBIS who presented us their beautiful handmade wovens made from Alpaca and sheep wool, from all natural origins Me watching the whole scene (and not understanding everything because the main spoken language was Quechua), I felt that the atmosphere in the room was so positive and it seemed like old friends were seeing each other again. I was told that the woven designs made on the traditional backstrap loom each tell a story. Every line is symbolic for something and is the way of the artisan to express her or himself.
On the weekend I wanted to find out more about this special technique so I went to CTTC (Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco), which is totally worth the visit – even if you are not working in fashion like me. It is just a great way to find out more about the cultural heritage of the peruvian culture. Plus, you get to see actual live weaving, which will not leave you unimpressed!
Organisations like Threads of Peru and CTTC enable the indigenous communities of the Andes to preserve their traditions and ensure that these are carried on also to the younger generations.
I am very excited to be a part of this and looking forward to these next two months!